Schools in Stellenbosch – a learning curve

As the days tick down for enrolments and re-enrolments for next year, Stellenbosch spoils its residents for choice in hosting some of South Africa’s top quality schools for any age group – be it pre-primary, primary, high or tertiary schooling.

This demand for top schools and quality education has seen inland families make the move to Stellenbosch which offers the additional appeal of a country lifestyle. Barbara Kriel from Fine & Country Stellenbosch says, “we find that prospective buyers of Stellenbosch property are often parents who value our local opinion on schools in the area as a trusted real estate brand.”

Primary schools and exposure to extracurricular activities
Foundation-phase education is of utmost importance for most parents, many rightly believing the right start in education early on will yield better long-term achievements and results. Stellenbosch offers a good mix of government and private schools that will expertly give your child the best start in foundation-phase education.

Rhenish Primary School caters for about 650 children up to grade 7 and is known for providing a top-quality education along with other popular primary schools including Laerskool Stellenbosch  as well as Eikestad Primary. Stellenbosch also enjoys the presence of the Stellenbosch Waldorf School, using the international Waldorf system of education, one of the fastest growing independent education systems in the world. The school teaches from a pre-school level right through to matric.

Beyond the search of quality education at a primary school level, parents discover unique aptitudes early on in their child’s development. The investment into nurturing that skill almost becomes a given, with schools in Stellenbosch perfectly placed to nurture and develop young talent. Some of the world’s foremost sporting legends and musicians started cultivating their skills at a very early age, thanks to the support of their parents and the amazing people that coach them. Indeed, Stellenbosch is home to many of South Africa’s famous sporting heroes, musicians, artists, academics and CEO’s – many of who coach, teach or mentor young people into their careers. At a primary school level, parents enjoy access to some of the best facilitators of extra-curricular activities, with an outdoor lifestyle to match.
A variety of high schools
High Schools in no particular order include Paul Roos Gimnasium, Bridge House, Hoerskool Stellenbosch, Somerset College, Bridge House and Curro – all of whom maintain excellent reputations. Most schools offer quality boarding facilities that compare well to private schools in Gauteng or KZN, with Stellenbosch options often more modestly priced compared to inland provinces.The variety of high schools offers matriculants an assortment to suit any aptitude be it academic, sport or art related.

For example, Hoërskool Stellenbosch is a primarily Afrikaans school which opened its doors in 1978, following a strong history of trade and commerce. This well-established institution encourages a balance of sport and academia with a significant music programme – the results of which have produced a number of famous South African musicians including Pieter Schoeman, the leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Stefan Temmingh, an international recorder player currently living in Germany.

Paul Roos Gymnasium for boys produced many of the country’s sporting legends, with the opportunity for young talented sporting stars to quickly be adopted into mentorship and club programs. Mr Paul Roos (affectionately known as ‘Oom Polla’) was South Africa’s first Springbok Rugby Captain leading the team to compete in Great Britain in 1906, with the school named in is honour in 1941. Paul Roos Gymnasium caters for almost 1300 pupils. Its notable alumni list consists of big names like Willie Le Roux, Josh Strauss, Johann Rupert, Francois Hougaard, Heinz Winkler, Koos Kombuis, Uys Krige and even former prime minister, Jan Smuts.

Other options include the prestigious Bloemhof High School, an Afrikaans secondary school for girls established in 1874. In 1903 three houses were acquired with the intention of accommodating more boarders and in 1925, the school became an Afrikaans-medium girls school. Bloemhof currently has about 700 girls enrolled between grade 8 and 12 and continues to host girls from across South Africa. Neighbouring Rhenish Girl’s High School was founded by a German mission in May 1860 to educate the missionaries’ daughters, and had 8 pupils in its first year in South Africa. The prestigious school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2010 and its notable alumni include Dominique Scott an Olympic Long Distance Running Athlete and Kathleen Taylor, a former SA Hockey Women’s Captain. Other English-speaking schools include Bridge House, Somerset College and Curro which all follow internationally recognised curricula.

Stellenbosch University and other quality tertiary education options
We would be remiss if we didn’t touch on one of South Africa’s most prestigious learning institutions –  Stellenbosch University. According to historians, Stellenbosch University’s lineage dates back as far as the 17th Century, when regular school education was initiated in the town. With the start of the Theological Seminary of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1859, higher education became established in the town. Stellenbosch is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town which received full university status on the same day in 1918.

Students make up a significant portion of the town’s overall population, with the university offering quality degrees in the arts, sciences, engineering and commerce. However, a university degree is not always the preferred route for talented matriculants who seek to further their skills in photography, fashion design, somatology, culinary arts or hospitality. There are many other institutions situated in and around Stellenbosch that offer qualifications in these uniquely specialized areas, many of whom offer international accreditation. Examples include the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design, the Private Hotel School, the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography, Iza Carstens Academy and the Institute of Culinary Arts to name a few.

With placements at these institutions highly contested, it is advisable to start your application process early to avoid disappointment. To the parents and students currently considering their options for next year, Stellenbosch truly offers it all – it is wonderful mix of arts, sports and culture all set against the dramatic backdrop of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg mountains and the green and gold beauty of the surrounding winelands.

Contact Fine & Country Stellenbosch today on 021 204 2440

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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